Job Titles and Job Satisfaction: An Ethno-Phenomenological Inquiry with Reference to a Transportation and Utility Firm


  • Saswat Barpanda Goa Institute of Management, Sanquelim
  • Swadha Dwivedi Amrita University


business anthropology, job titles, job characteristics model, job satisfaction, ethno-phenomenology


The current study aims to investigate the extent to which job titles and job characteristics contribute to the job satisfaction of employees at a Midwestern United States utility and transportation company using Hackman & Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model (1976) and Katz and Van Maanen’s (1977)Loci of Work Satisfaction. It assumes if job titles are designated based on these characteristics—then employees will be more satisfied and therefore more motivated and productive. The researchers undertook an ethnophenomenological approach with a data of 25 full-time employees who were interviewed about their overall experience regarding their job and how they feel the five core dimensions of work satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1976) are related to their job titles using a semi-structured pattern following Kvale’s (1996) framework. Results demonstrate that employees in this organization feel that job titles significantly impact their overall job satisfaction and responded positively to all five of the core job characteristic dimensions. However, employees who feel that their job title affects their external rapport perceived a need to alter their job titles. This study was restricted to self-report measures at a single organization.